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2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid Review

XV Crosstrek Hybrid

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2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid Overview

Knowing they had to keep up with the competition, the folks at Subaru have finally unveiled their first hybrid vehicle in the eminently capable, if not impressively more fuel-efficient 2014 XV Crosstrek Hybrid. This compact 5-seat, 5-door crossover totes the standard full-time all-wheel drivetrain (AWD) inherited from its non-hybrid Crosstrek siblings, while the cargo area, which houses the hybrid's unique battery pack, is cut by about 1.2 cubic feet to just over 50 cubic feet total with the rear seats folded.

The debuting XV Crosstrek Hybrid is offered in a single Base trim, while an optional Touring Package offers available upgrades to wheels and interior appointments as well as some added exterior goodies and results in the XV Crosstrek Hybrid Touring sub-trim.

This marginally more fuel-efficient mini-ute, again like its regularly powered brethren, takes its styling and suspension cues from the well-wrought Impreza sedan, while sporting a hybrid version of the standard 2.0-liter horizontally opposed Boxer 4-cylinder (flat-4) engine common to its less exotic kin. With the traditional continuously variable transmission (CVT) managing both the four-banger and a 10-kilowatt electric motor, total power numbers run to 161 hp and 193 lb-ft of torque, resulting in what reviewers call acceptable if not neck-snapping acceleration. Mileage, meantime, is expected to approach 33 mpg city/25 highway, which is, alas, not significantly better than the regularly powered trims.

Of course, the standard AWD system, pushing most of the torque to the front wheels in normal driving conditions, is always on tap to transfer torque from the wheels that slip to the wheels that grip when conditions warrant.

Feature-wise, this competent hybrid crossover, in its Base form, is slated to boast a few unique touches, like silver-finish taillight trim pieces, an aerodynamically enhanced grille shutter and noticeably svelte 17-inch alloy wheels. A roof rack, as well as a rear spoiler and heated power-adjustable rear-view mirrors, complements the handsome profile, while cloth upholstery, heated front seats and full power accessories grace the cabin. Cruise control remains standard in this introductory hybrid ute, as does telescoping tilt-wheel steering, while a rear-view camera and Bluetooth hands-free communications are again interfaced with a single-CD player and 6 speakers via a multifunction touchscreen display.

Look for the feature-rich 2014 XV Crosstrek Hybrid Touring sub-trim, meantime, to flaunt such anticipated upgrades as leather-trimmed upholstery, a voice-activated navigation system, premium audio and a power moonroof.

Notable standard safety features in this brand-new hybrid crossover should include 4-wheel antilock brakes, traction and stability control, 7 airbags, turn-signal-integrated mirrors and a remote antitheft alarm.

Updated

Have Laptop, Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.

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XV Crosstrek Hybrid
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